Salem, NH – Four members of the Soil-Away team just completed IICRC water damage restoration technician training courses. Soil-Away attendees consisted of restoration technicians and management staff. For the technicians, this was their first experience in a water restoration course. “The classes really helped supplement the in-house training that Soil-Away provides,” explained one technician. “This was a great chance to expand my technical understanding of what we deal with on a daily basis when it comes to cleaning up water damage.”
Storm damage cleanup needs were extensive. Portsmouth and the surrounding towns were pummeled with high winds and heavy rains. Near hurricane conditions wreaked havoc throughout the historic New Hampshire town. Insurance claims for property damage were being submitted in droves. Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration was busy performing storm damage cleanup services throughout the Portsmouth area.
When homeowners discover water intrusion within their property, they must respond to the problem quickly in order to prevent further issues such as property damage and mold growth. But without a complete understanding on water damage repair work, property owners across Nashua, Manchester and Concord often make mistakes during the clean-up process. Fortunately, our specialist team has the understanding to help ensure effective water damage repair. In this blog, we’ll outline three tips for beginning water damage repair work effectively.
It is common to rely on simple household appliances to help with our everyday lives. A dishwasher to clean the dishes; A washer/dryer to clean the laundry; A refrigerator to keep food cold and fresh. How often are these appliances inspected or maintained? This question was now at the forefront of this Derry homeowner’s mind. She was in need of water damage restoration services as a result of a washing machine hoses failure. Simple maintenance may have saved her the time and expenses now required of dealing with a water damage claim at her Derry home.
A frustrated father whips his sopping wet sneakers across the back yard of his Salem house. He was in the middle of an emergency water damage cleanup situation at his house. The finished basement had an inch of water throughout. The place was a flooded mess. How did this happen? What can be done to mitigate the water damage? Clinching his brow with his left hand, he stares straight into the sky and mentally drifts off.
A partner in prestigious Manchester law firm sees a strange number come across his phone. It is after 8:00pm, but he answers anyway. On the other line is a panicked voice. The janitor has just arrived for the nightly cleaning and discovered that a pipe had burst. The janitor is quick to describe the water damage throughout the office. As far as the partner knows, no one had been in the office for a few hours. How long had the broken pipe been pouring water into his Manchester office?
The janitor was able to shut the water off to the building, but emergency water damage mitigation services were needed. Carpets, walls, and furniture were soaked. The office shop-vac was no match. The partner was quick to find Soil-Away online and immediately contacted the emergency water damage cleanup team. Soil-Away technicians assembled at the nearby Hooksett shop and rapidly dispatched to the flooded Manchester office.
Soil-Away crews worked into the night to clean up the water damage. By 2:00am, the excess water had been extracted and the scene was setup for drying. Commercial dehumidifiers and air movers worked to remove excess moisture from the structure. All the partners in the law firm arrived Saturday morning to meet a Soil-Away representative to discuss the damages. Appreciation was expressed for the quick response time and competent water mitigation service. By Monday morning the structure had nearly finished drying and most of the equipment was removed. The law firm was able to remain open and operating without any costly downtime.
Avoiding water damage at your property should be a priority. Every year thousands are New Hampshire and Massachusetts basements suffer from flooding. This costs millions of dollars in damage and provides endless frustration to owners. Rest assured that there are precautions you can take to protect yourself and reduce the possibility of a flooded basement.
Below are three simple strategies that you can employ to help prevent costly water damage at your property. Please understand these ideas are not a total solution, but they serve as a large step in the right direction towards your quest to avoid basement flooding…
1) Gutters: These simple devices serve to divert rain water away from your home. Do you have gutters? If not, have a qualified contractor review your property to discuss options for installation. Are they clean? Gutters can accumulate dirt, debris, and leaves. Fall and spring are the best times to clean them out. Are the downspouts channeling water away from your foundation? Gutters can create problems such as pooling near the foundation if they are not directed properly.
2) Grading: Believe it or not the slope of your property can have a huge impact on flooding. Inspect your property during the next rain storm. Do you have pooling in areas around the foundation? If there are apparent low spots that are susceptible to accumulating water, you could have a problem. We suggest a property regrade that will divert water away from your home. Seek the counsel of a qualified landscaper or excavation contractor.
3) Sump Pump: As ground water levels rise a sump pump can come to the rescue. This important device works to keep the area under a building dry. They are typically installed in the lowest area of a basement in a special pit. As water accumulates in the pit, the pump will work to drive water away from the building. When planning the installation, make sure to take into account the power source of the pump. Make sure to have a backup solution in the event power is lost.
If you are submitting a water damage claim to your insurance carrier for your New Hampshire or Massachusetts property, let them know you are using Soil-Away.
It was a rainy weekend in late March. Over 48 hours of continuous precipitation hovered over much of New Hampshire, including the community of Bedford. Over the weekend Soil-Away received an emergency call from an elderly couple who had just discovered over six inches of water in their basement. Increasing water levels in the ground and neighboring bodies of water had caused their home to flood. The concerned couple called a trusted friend who referred Soil-Away. A water mitigation team arrived to the Bedford property the same day.
Upon arrival, Soil-Away technicians inspected the property, established safety precautions for the scene, and began the flood damage cleanup process. The anxious couple was both relieved to have help and reassured by the organization and proficiency of the team. Technicians diligently worked to pump and extract the excess water out of the basement. They relocated wet and damaged contents to the garage where they could be sorted and inventoried. Each phase of the job was documented by pictures and notes.
Following the flood extraction, the basement was cleaned and treated to avoid potential microbial growth issues down the line. Commercial dehumidifiers and air movers were set up to remove excess moisture and complete the drying process. A Soil-Away technician returned daily to Bedford to check on the couple, answer any questions, and inspect the drying progress. After three days the house had been returned to pre-loss conditions and all the drying equipment was removed.
During the process the relieved couple referred Soil-Away to their Bedford friends and neighbors who had also suffered flooded basements. Soil-Away’s water damage cleanup teams performed dozens of similar jobs as a result of helping this couple in need.
Water damage is one of the leading causes of property damage. Water damage can result from a broken pipe, roof damage, malfunctioning appliance, flooding from ground water, etc… The mitigation process can be time consuming and expensive if you are not properly prepared.
The first step in preparation is insurance. We encourage all our clients to have a conversation with their insurance agent over what their policy covers and what it excludes. Make sure to take the time and really understand your policy. Know that there is a difference between homeowners insurance and flood insurance.
In typical circumstances, a homeowner’s policy should cover water damage situations resulting from roof damage, such as a tree falling or wind blowing shingles off. It should also cover something like a hot-water tank failing or washer machine overflow. Homeowner’s policies typically do not cover ground water entering the basement through the foundation. These occurrences typically take place in the spring when snow-melt and heavy rains combine to raise the water levels in bodies of water and the ground. Separate flood coverage may be available and worth considering if this is a concern. Bring it up to your insurance agent to understand your options.
The final step in preparing for water damage cleanup is to build a relationship with a certified, reputable water damage restoration company. You do not want to be caught off guard in the event you need emergency water damage or flood cleanup. Soil-Away’s water damage mitigation team serves south/central New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. In the first quarter of 2014, Soil-Away restored hundreds water damaged properties in towns such as Manchester, Hampstead, Portsmouth, Concord, Bedford, Moultonborough, and Laconia, NH.
Hooksett, NH – Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration Services recently expanded its large-loss capacity by investing in the Dryvex MC5200. Large-loss capacity is generally referred to as a restoration company’s ability to take on large property disaster projects. In this case, Soil-Away will be able to utilize the Dryvex MC5200 to dry out large structures that have sustained significant water damage. By using heat, the new equipment can dry down flooded buildings faster and more efficiently than numerous other methods.
“We are excited about how the Dryvex system will help us serve our clients who need flood damage cleanup services,” states founder Jack Solloway. “We frequently get calls to clean up water damage at multi-family properties or commercial buildings. The quicker we can dry the flooded buildings and restore them to normal, the happier our clients are.”
Insurance companies will also benefit from Soil-Away’s investment. Shorter dry-times will result in cost savings for water damage claims. By having the Dryvex MC5200 as a part of fleet, Soil-Away continuous to separate itself as the premier, independent water mitigation company in New Hampshire. So far, Soil-Away has used the new machine in for large water damage mitigation projects in Nashua, Merrimack, Pittsfield, Newport, Portsmouth, and Manchester.
It is a distasteful practice that is unfortunately common in our industry. Some call it “ambulance chasing” while others may call it “fire chasing.” The essence of the activity is that firms will hunt for property disasters and prey on victims of fires or floods.
How is this done? Information about a property fire or disaster is obtained by listening to emergency service (Police/Fire) scanners or through notifications from special smart phone apps.
Who does this? Many large (often franchise) mitigation companies use this practice along with some public adjustment firms. They have “marketing” departments on call 24/7 to take advantage of unfortunate situations.
What is the goal? Ultimately, “fire chasers” want to obtain business from the situation. By being the first-to-the-scene, these firms want to obtain the property owner’s signature on a work authorization form and start the work immediately to ensure they get the job for the fire, smoke, and water damage cleanup.
Does it work? Unfortunately it does enough of the time to see the practice continue in the industry. Property owners are under distress, anxious, and do not understand the whole scope. Often times they may feel pressured by the pursuing party and are not prepared to handle the situation.
Is it ethical? We will let you answer that, but let it be known that Soil-Away does not and will not participate in such activities.
What should I do? If you have a fire or property disaster in which emergency services are involved, rest assured that you will be pursued by these companies. Stand strong and decline their services. Would you hire an unfamiliar lawyer at the hospital after you have been injured in a car accident? The best thing is to build a relationship with a firm you trust BEFORE anything happens. Another step is to reach out to your local insurance agent. They can navigate you through the proper channels of claims processing.
Please note that Soil-Away is an approved vendor for numerous national and local insurance carriers. We ask you to consider connecting with Soil-Away today regarding an emergency property damage mitigation plan. You do not want to be caught off guard in the event of water, fire, or mold damage situation.
Snow is accumulating on your house. Ice is building up on the edge of your roof. Icicles are growing larger and larger. This is just a part of winter in New England, right? While all of us must combat the harsh realities of cold temperatures and freezing precipitation, we should not succumb to the damaging tendencies of ice dams.
Ice dams, if left unattended, can lead to exterior and interior property damage. Roof shingles can peel and wood can rot. This may lead to leaks inside the house. Water pouring into your home in the middle of winter is not a fun situation. There are a couple of things you can to do to help avoid costly water damage from ice dams…
1) Minimize snow accumulation on your roof– Following each significant snow fall; carefully remove as much snow as possible. Tools such as a roof rake with extension poles allow you to reach areas from the ground. No climbing on ladders in icy conditions. Roof rakes can be purchased for roughly $50 to $100. Make sure to read and follow all the safety instructions.
2) Create channels in ice for water flow- For existing ice dams, you need to create a place for the melting ice to go. One way to do this is to fill a pair of panty hose with calcium chloride ice melt. Carefully position the panty hose perpendicular to the edge of the roof. As the calcium chloride works, it will create a channel for water to flow instead of continuing to compound with the existing dams.
If you have sustained water damage from ice dams at your home, please call Soil-Away. We will identify all affected areas and efficiently dry your property to prevent further damage. We work with all national and local insurance carriers and will assist you through the claims process. We are an IICRC certified firm. Please remember to keep our contact numbers available in the event of a water loss relating to ice dams.